Something Old, Something New

‘A Genuine Mistake’ #12 in the Freeman Files Series went ‘live’ on 27th March.  

I plan to start writing #13 “Strange Beginnings’ by the middle of April.

I didn’t have to think too hard about what I might do after finishing the last book. The weather brightened for a few days, and I was invited to carry out remedial work to the patio. Invitations from my wife aren’t RSVP; they’re a call to action.

A cold wind arrived from the Arctic this week, and outside activities have been curtailed; so, I’ve taken the opportunity to publish more collections: –

 A Box Set for Books 7-9 in the Freeman Files Series

A Box Set for Books 10-12 in The Phoenix Series

A Collection of Something Old, Something New called The Long Hard Road.

The Long Hard Road

Are you searching for real characters and original story lines? Do you want books that you can’t put down? For anyone that hasn’t read me before then this collection gives a flavour of what to expect. Why not give it a try?

I can’t promise French hens or turtle-doves – but there are 2 short stories, 2 anecdotes, 3 blog posts, poems, a sketch, a dash of humour and a full-length novel to enjoy.

It was fun compiling this mixed bag, and at $1.99, it’s great value.

Friday the 9th of April looms large! That’s when my next BookBub Featured Deal is scheduled for the Freeman Files Box Set Books 1-3. Last September when they featured this title, it had a mere NINE reviews. Today that figure stands at 1028. Fingers crossed for another good day.

I’ll be back with an update towards the middle of May.

Take care, stay safe.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

Golden Memories

‘A Genuine Mistake’ #12 in the Freeman Files Series is 50% complete.

I’m aiming to publish it before the end of March.

The past month has been a roller-coaster ride. The weather doesn’t seem to know what to do from one day to the next – nor does the Government. My wife and I are weary of lockdown now, our annual trip to Ibiza has been cancelled for the second year in a row. We still can’t visit our children and grandchildren in a sensible fashion. There is light at the end of the tunnel, but I’ve lost count of number of times I’ve heard that it’s a train not the exit. Writing two to three thousand words each day has been my escape.

Music is another of my passions, and at the end of February a DJ from a club we played in regularly reminded me it was 50 years to the day since we supported Genesis at the Granary Club, in Bristol. Peter Gabriel, Phil Collins, and the others were on the brink of stardom and they had already arrived at the venue when we pitched up in our Ford Transit and our roadies unloaded the gear.

I watched from the centre of the hall as Peter Gabriel set up a bass drum, plus a microphone to use during their performance. Phil Collins came to join me and said hello. I asked him how he felt about Peter adding extra embellishments to their sound.

Phil gave an enigmatic smile. ‘He’s not of this planet, you know,” he replied.

The conversation continued until we had to take to the stage for our one hour warm up slot. We were better than average that night; Genesis were great. It was only a matter of time for them.

(In a poll a few years back, that night was voted the favourite gig from the 1968-88 period that the Granary Club opened its doors)

Fifty years? Well, in October it will be Golden Wedding time for my wife and I. How does that relate to this story? On the day I met Phil, I’d just received confirmation for the hotel booking in London for our honeymoon. (Just a few days – we had gigs to fulfil). He asked where we were staying, and it was just around the corner from their agent’s offices in Lancaster Gate.

  “Mike (Rutherford) and I will be in the Swan on Bayswater Road on Monday lunchtime. Pop in for a drink.”

So, we did. Lynne and I visited Carnaby Street and the King’s Road to shop in the morning. Then got back to the Swan by one o’clock. Genesis were off to Germany the next day for a series of TV shows. Lynne and I enjoyed a couple of hours drinking and chatting about music with two great guys. Happy days.

I’ll be back with an update in the middle of April.

Take care, stay safe.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

Better Late, Than Never

‘Buried Secrets’ #11 in the Freeman Files Series went ‘LIVE’ this morning.Let me explain – I started writing ‘A Genuine Mistake’ on the 18th of January as planned. When I was twenty thousand words in, I realised that I’d grabbed the notes for the murder mystery that I had scheduled for #12 in the series. I blame lockdown, plus the excitement of my first jab on the 30th.

I couldn’t face starting again, so I contacted The Cover Collection and asked for minor adjustments to the two covers involved. Once that was sorted, I started to write again. I published Book #10 on the 7th of January, so to get the next case done and dusted by the 16th of February was satisfying. Please don’t assume this sets a precedent!

It reminded me of a story from my early days as a Cost Accountant in the mid-Sixties. People from the Technical Department would drop Estimate Requests on my boss’s desk. I was keen to prove that I could provide an accurate costing with my newly acquired skills and got stuck in as soon as they left the office. When it was complete and my boss had nodded his approval, I suggested I drop in into the Technical Department. No, he said, stick it in the drawer for a couple of days. We don’t want people to think they can expect that sort of turnaround every time they want a job costed. There will be days when we’re rushed off our feet. I find it best to tell them it will be four or five days, then when you get it back to them in three now and again, they think you’ve done them a big favour!

I’ll double-check my notes before I start ‘A Genuine Mistake’ in a week or so; I need to re-charge my batteries first. 

So, I estimate that Book #12 should be ready by the end of March.

Of course, I’ve been wrong before…

I’ll be back with an update in March.

Take care, stay safe.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

 

Keep Right On

‘All Things Bright’ #10 in the Freeman Files Series went ‘LIVE’ this morning.

I’m pleased to report that my wife, Lynne, is almost fully recovered from her operation now. We spent Christmas and New Year alone due to the restrictions that existed at the time.

Another total lockdown followed, and we’re back in survival mode just as we were last March. A vaccine is on the horizon. I’m sure, wherever you are, it can’t come soon enough.

I started research for the next six titles in the Freeman Files Series on New Year’s Day. Work on #11 ‘A Genuine Mistake’ begins on Monday 18th January.

You might stumble across a post containing ‘My 2020 in Books’ online. You will see that I read & reviewed 215 books last year. I’ve decided to curb my enthusiasm in 2021 to concentrate on writing.

I follow a Facebook Page that each day features Births, Marriages, Deaths, & News Headlines for the town in which I’ve lived for 70 years. I spotted a reference recently to a soldier who returned home after being interned in a POW camp in Italy.

Phil Tayler was my uncle (1916-79), and he was taken prisoner late in 1942. The first battle of El Alamein was in July; the second battle, around October time. Uncle Phil talked about the many occasions he went drinking with my father, Vic, (1914-93) whenever he visited our house. There was only one afternoon when he spoke about how he got taken prisoner. I was seventeen at the time.

Uncle Phil was in a convoy of trucks that left camp at dusk. A sergeant drove, and lance/corporal Tayler sat beside him. They had made similar journeys together on many occasions, moving stores and ammunition to various positions along the front line. Tonight, they were ‘Tail-end Charlie’, the last truck in the line.

“Let’s just say those positions were fluid, Ted,” he said.

Around midnight, a sandstorm blew up and the sergeant had a devil of a job tailing the truck in front. They drove for fifteen minutes and as the storm abated, they sighed a huge sigh of relief to see a line of trucks twenty yards ahead.  Several minutes later the trucks ahead came to a halt. Uniformed men surrounded the truck.

“Hände hoch!”

They’d latched on to the end of a German convoy doing the same job, moving stores and ammo from a base camp to forward positions.

Uncle Phil was moved to Italy later that year and spent the rest of the war as a POW. He never spoke about his experiences, and I was never 100% sure that the reality of how he got there was how I’ve described it here. His story makes a good story though, and I retold it to mark the 75th anniversary of his coming home to my Auntie Eileen.  

I’ll be back with an update in February.

Take care, stay safe.

Best wishes

Ted Tayler

 

Best Laid Plans

I was hoping to be well into ‘All Things Bright’ #10 in the Freeman Files Series by the time I wrote to you this month. Best laid plans, as they say. All the preparatory work was completed by mid-November and three thousand words written.

Then my wife, Lynne, had to be rushed into hospital in Bath for a major operation. I’m happy to report that the surgery was successful, she’s home and making slow but steady progress.

When I semi-retired in 2000, Lynne was still working full-time, so I took up the household duties. Getting into elements of it again wasn’t an issue. In fact, it was easier this time because our three kids have left home!

So, the writing had to stop for the past three weeks. Instead of five hours per day in my office, I’ve snatched an hour here and there. I’ve prepared a Box Set of Books #4-6 in the Freeman Files Series that’s poised for publication; and I sourced a new cover for ‘Conception – Birth of The Phoenix’, the prequel to the Phoenix Series.

That title, plus the 2 early novels that it contained have been edited and updated. (Let’s just say they’re less likely to offend)

The past month shows that there are no guarantees, but my aim is still to complete ‘All Things Bright’ by mid-January. After that, it’s full steam ahead with titles #11 – 16. Around this time next year, I’ll be planning for 2022. If Gus Freeman is still as popular as he’s proved this year, then who knows? Perhaps twenty-four books in the series isn’t out of the question.

I’ll be back with an update in the New Year.

Take care, stay safe.

Best wishes for the Festive Season for you and yours 

 

 

More Of The Same

‘Night Train’ #9 in the Freeman Files is available NOW on Amazon. If anyone wants a free copy in return for an honest review, then let me know.

Ivan Kendall died in a station toilet eighty miles from home in March 2014.

Why did the quiet family man travel to Westbury from South Wales so late at night?

The Crime Review Team tackle two cold cases in this intriguing ninth title in the series.

As the team close in on Grant Burnside’s assassin, an old adversary stands in their way. In lighter moments, Suzie Ferris moves in with Gus, and Lydia Logan Barre finds her father.

 ‘All Things Bright’ #10 is in the research phase, and I hope to announce its arrival in the first newsletter of 2021.

 For many of you, Gus Freeman was the character that encouraged you to join our happy band. Some of you have been with me from the start, and therefore The Phoenix Series was the trigger. Several readers had asked for a ‘crossover’ storyline. In ‘Creature Discomforts’ Gus investigated the death of Grant Burnside, and although the team solved several other cases, they never resolved the shooting of the gang overlord.

I included references to the case in ‘Silent Terror’, and while I was writing that book, kept wondering how to bring the story thread to a satisfactory conclusion. In ‘Night Train’ I’ve attempted to defer the matter until Gus Freeman’s last case (whenever that may be!).

A few of you might dip into the Phoenix archives, but it’s not for me to steer you in that direction. Six years have passed since I wrote the first book in that series and the world has changed in so many areas.

So, it’s onwards and upwards with Gus Freeman throughout 2021.

How about a Q&A session for some light relief?

Q. Is there a message in your novels you want readers to grasp?

I used to answer, ‘Not really’. I don’t have an agenda. I want to tell a story people can believe and enjoy. However, as the books mount up, I must admit I’m poking fun at the PC brigade, lamenting the lack of a real sense of justice, and despair that we’re losing the war against crime. I don’t run out of topics to feature in each new title, so the next seven books in the series in 2021 will be a breeze to write.

I don’t need a fertile imagination. I just read the news.

 

I’ll be back with an update in December.

Take care, stay safe and best wishes. 

Ted Tayler

Silent But Deadly

‘Silent Terror’ #8 in the Freeman Files is available NOW on Amazon. If anyone wants a free copy in return for an honest review, then let me know.

 A brutal murder occurred at a remote bungalow in January 2013. Gus Freeman reviews the murder of Ursula Wakeley, a seventy-eight-year-old spinster. Why did the former librarian become a victim? Was it a robbery, or something more sinister? Alex Hardy returns to the fold and new girl Blessing Umeh joins the Crime Review Team.

 ‘Night Train’ #9 in the series is underway and due to arrive in time for Christmas.

 With a following wind, ‘All Things Bright’ #10 will make it onto Amazon before the New Year. Until recently, that would have been that, but the series is selling so well that I’m aiming for six more titles in 2021. 

 At my age I can’t look too far ahead, but I won’t rule out extending the series into 2022. Gus Freeman is a great character to write about, and with a strong supporting cast both at work and at home there’s potential for a lot more adventures yet.

 

 

Several of you have found your way to my Facebook Author Page. If you want to join the party the link is: –

https://facebook.com/AuthorTedTayler

I’ll be back with an update in November. Take care, stay safe and best wishes. 

Ted Tayler

 

The More The Merrier

 

Hello again. Hard to believe it was a month ago I wrote about Sweet Sixteen.

When you’re writing every day the time just slips away.

The Freeman Files Box Set of Books 1-3 has a Featured Deal with BookBub at the weekend.

 

 

‘Creature Discomforts’ #7 in the Freeman Files is available NOW on Amazon. If anyone wants a free copy in return for an honest review, then let me know. 

I’ve started to write about Ursula Wakeley, the spinster from Mere (on the edge of Salisbury Plain) who was stabbed during a robbery in January 2013. 

Gus and the team have extra pairs of hands to help crack that one, plus dig deeper into the mystery surrounding Grant Burnside’s death.

 

There are Phoenix fans among you who yearn for the stories to mingle on occasion.

Do you recognise the mystery red-headed gunman in ‘Creature Discomforts’?

If you’ve been with me for the long haul, you will recall Tanya Norris and the others when Phoenix visited Swindon in 2012.

I never anticipated the complexity of writing two series where characters might bump into one another. I’m sure someone will check – but, no, there wasn’t another operation underway that would have prevented ‘you know who’ being on top of that warehouse roof on the date specified.

That’s the only potential clash to date. I shall have to be on my toes if there is any further overlapping of the stories.

I remember that I told you about the guy that contacted me and said how much he loved The Phoenix Series. Well, he was back last month. He’s completed the series, and is now catching up with the earlier books, followed by the Freeman Files series. Even better, he’s persuaded several of his mates to start reading my books.

We can all dream, I guess. Two days ago, I found a message on Facebook (hidden among the awful new layout!) from a lady who ALSO loved The Phoenix. She doesn’t enjoy the best of health and her condition means that she spends a lot of time watching TV. Especially, Netflix and Amazon Prime, neither of which I’m familiar with because I’m usually writing or reading. She bemoaned the quality on offer and begged me to consider getting the series televised.

I explained that you tend to have to be asked first and as far as I knew I wasn’t on anyone’s radar.

She asked whether I would mind if she approached the companies concerned and suggested they give my books a look. I conceded that it couldn’t hurt and told her that her kind words were more than enough for me. Who needs fame and fortune at seventy-five, I thought. Then, I remembered Captain Sir Thomas Moore (100 years young). Who knows?

I’ll be back with an update in October. Take care, stay safe and best wishes. 

Ted Tayler

 

Sweet Sixteen

 

 

 

 

The Freeman Files Box Set  has been available since the end of July. It’s been approved for a Featured Deal with BookBub on Saturday 5th September. That’s another step in the right direction.

‘Creature Discomforts’ #7 in the Freeman Files is due in early September, and I’ve started to write about Grant Burnside, the Swindon gangster shot by a sniper on Sunday 25th May 2014. His case feels like a tough nut for Gus and the team to crack.

I went ahead with my thoughts on what might happen to Gus in the future. We’re in for the long haul. I’ll be able to share the front cover images with you next month. All I can do this month is tease you with the book titles.

#8 Silent Terror

#9 Night Train

#10 All Things Bright

#11 A Genuine Mistake

#12 Buried Secrets

#13 Strange Beginnings

#14 Dead Reckoning

#15 A Normal November

#16 Into The Sunlight

As well as the cold cases to solve, Gus is surrounded by a dozen regular characters who contribute to the books as they face their own challenges and forge new relationships.

I can’t reveal too much at this stage – but I guarantee it won’t be boring.

Face masks are compulsory in so many places these days. I spotted a great idea on Instagram where another writer had purchased masks with her book cover incorporated into the design. I switch between the Phoenix and Freeman design shown above on my trips out now.

They’re great for promoting the books, but nobody asks for an autograph – because they don’t recognise me!

I’ll be back with an update in September. Take care, stay safe and best wishes. 

Ted Tayler

 

Happy Days

I’ve just sent out Newsletter #50 – time for a small celebration.

Only a handful of people can remember the content of the first connection I made with my readers back in June 2016. At the time there were only 4 Phoenix stories available and ‘The Price Of Treachery’ was in the planning stage. Christian Bale and Damian Lewis were suggested for the roles of Phoenix and Rusty if a casting director ever came calling. Four years on, other stars would probably be on the wish list.

The main thing I recall from my first newsletter was the comment that Colin Bailey was evolving as a character, and the addition of new characters in Books #3 and #4, plus the expanded roles of others opened dozens of avenues for me to allow the series to develop.

I’m still not sure I imagined a 12-book series at that point; I certainly never thought someone called Gus Freeman would create an even wider audience with his own series in the future!

 ‘Barking Mad’ – Book #6 arrived on Amazon around two weeks ago. Many of you will have bought it already, but if you want a Free copy in exchange for an honest review, then give me a shout and I’ll forward a copy.

If you’re still ploughing through The Phoenix Series and want to get a head start on The Freeman Files, I’ll have a Box Set of Books 1-3 available by the end of the month. It will be priced at $5.99 – (Buy Two Get One Free).

I told you in a previous newsletter that the original 6-book series was extended to 10. ‘Creature Discomforts’ is due in early September, and the next three will be with you in approximately two-monthly intervals.

BREAKING NEWS – I’m loving writing about Gus & his team so much that I’m planning to extend the series to 12 and SIXTEEN isn’t out of the question.

I’ll be back with an update in August. Take care, stay safe and best wishes. 

Ted Tayler